On the 6th February 1685 King James II of England and VII of Scotland succeeded to the throne of Great Britain on the death of his elder brother, King Charles II. His reign, which was to last for less than four years, was beset by many difficulties. A number of these problems stemmed from the fact that James, before his accession, has gone over to the Church of Rome and made no effort to conceal that fact. One of the results of this spiritual allegiance of King James was the provision of Chapels Royal at Whitehall, Windsor, Dublin, and Edinburgh, where James could worship according to the ritual of his Church, and these chapels were duly furnished with suitable altar plate. The altar plate provided for the English and Irish chapels seems to have disappeared but, by a stroke of good fortune, several of the altar vessels made for the Chapel Royal in the Palace of Holyroodhouse have survived. These vessels, which are of superb quality, have up till now escaped the notice of the experts who have dealt with the history of the silversmith's craft in Great Britain. They are now discussed in the following pages: the historical circumstances of their survival will first be described and this will be followed by a technical description of the various surviving pieces.